Google to US: Too expensive to provide wage data in gender suit

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Google and the US Labor Department are knocking heads over how men and women are paid at the company.

Google and the US Labor Department are knocking heads over how women and men are paid on the firm.

Kimihiro Hoshino/Getty Images

Google acquired a jab from the US Labor Department Friday, when the tech powerhouse informed a decide it could be too expensive to adjust to a division request for sure wage data in an audit involving gender and wage on the search big.

“Google would be able to absorb the cost as easy as a dry kitchen sponge could absorb a single drop of water,” a Labor Department lawyer responded after Google officers testified it could price the corporate up to 500 hours of labor and $100,000 to adjust to a Labor Department demand for the data.

Google guardian firm Alphabet is without doubt one of the most worthwhile corporations in the US, landing at No. 8 on last year’s Fortune 500 list and reporting a profit of $5.43 billion for the primary quarter of 2017.

The courtroom trade was reported Friday by The Guardian.

The testimony is a part of a federal trial over a lawsuit (PDF) filed in January by the Labor Department. The division is making an attempt to compel Google to hand over sure compensation data as a part of an audit to be certain that the corporate, a federal contractor, is honoring equal employment legal guidelines. If Google would not hand over the data, the division says, it ought to lose its authorities contracts. The division stated final month that the search big systematically pays its female employees less than it pays men. The firm strongly denies that assertion.

In court docket Friday, a Google lawyer known as the trouble to provide sure paperwork to the Labor Department a “very time-consuming and burdensome project” and stated the corporate has already devoted 2,300 hours at a price of virtually $500,000 to partly adjust to the division’s calls for, The Guardian reported. Among different issues, the difficulties contain privateness issues and the necessity to redact some data to shield workers, Google stated.

The Labor lawyer stated Google has often made hundreds of thousands of from authorities contracts, in accordance to The Guardian report.

The authorized proceedings are unfolding as critics have been taking purpose at Silicon Valley for its bro culture and uneven playing field when it comes to the sexes. One 2016 report discovered that laptop programming is the most unfair occupation in America in regard to ladies’s salaries. Many main tech firms are additionally battling how to bring greater diversity to the workforce.

Google says privacy is a factor in its refusal to meet the Labor Department’s requests for the wage data at situation. It says, too, that it has been co-operating with the division’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs and hopes to proceed that course of.

“As a federal contractor, we’re familiar with our obligations and have worked collaboratively with the OFCCP,” the corporate stated in an announcement. “We’ve worked hard to comply with the OFCCP’s current audit and have provided hundreds of thousands of records over the last year, including those related to compensation. However, the handful of OFCCP requests that are the subject of the complaint are overbroad in scope, or reveal confidential data, and we’ve made this clear to the OFCCP, to no avail. These requests include thousands of employees’ private contact information which we safeguard rigorously. We hope to continue working with OFCCP to resolve this matter.”

The Labor Department did not reply to a request for touch upon the Guardian report.

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